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September 22, 2012 at 1:29 am #20639
Two in situ diagnosis this past Feb. and March.
Dermatologist performed excisions in his office.
Successful 3 mos follow up exam in June.
Another 3 mos follow up last week.
Doctor biopsied pinkish mole on upper left thigh.
Results as follows:
Stage I superficial spreading melanoma (primary)
Clark’s level 3-4
Radial growth stage
No regressive changes
No vascular invasion
My dermatologist referred me to a surgical oncologist @ Rhode Island Hospital
Scheduled for next Tuesday
My primary care doctor referred me to Dana Farber Hospital in Boston, MA where I am scheduled to meet with a surgeon and dermatologist who both specialize in melanoma
Scheduled for next Friday
I will listen to both opinions and decide from there.
I just recently turned 40 years old and am having a hard time dealing with this. A bit overwhelmed to say the least but trying to remain positive. Wondering how many more current moles on my body may be melanomas in waiting or already progressed.
Thanks for listening.September 22, 2012 at 3:04 am #566227spiderParticipant
I know it’s hard but, try not to freak out too much. The good thing is you’re catching these while their thin and you’re going to melanoma specialist for treatment options. Just follow what the Drs suggest and if you don’ t understand or have any questions, just ask. Catherine and all the other fine people on here will help with anything you don’t understand. Good luck to you Yankees Girl. My favorite team by the waySeptember 22, 2012 at 3:16 am #56623 Thank you 7spider! I appreciate your reply….and am glad to hear that there is a fellow Yankees fan here as we’ll. Thanks again.September 22, 2012 at 11:42 am #56624Catherine PooleKeymaster Ok, I must admit I am a Phillies fan despite their dismal season. But I am always a fan of catching melanoma early when it is curable, and radial growth phase and shallow depth are definite winners. You are having such great surveillance for these things. Keep up your own body checks and I would guess you’ve had the whole body photography? Take deep breaths and try to enjoy the moment. let us know how your appts. go.September 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm #56625casey188Participant Hi Yankeesgirl,
I saw that you are seeing a surgical oncologist at RI Hospital. Is it Thomas Miner by any chance? He is the surgeon who removed my melanoma. He is great. My friend also saw him for removal of 3 mels and he still sees her for follow up skin checks due to that fact and because she has many irregular large moles. If it gives you any comfort, she had 3 primaries within a 2 year period but has been clear for over 3 years now. He caught the last two very early through his skin checks after the derm did not pick up on them. Something to check into if your referral does not go the way you want it. Hang in there.
Casey188September 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm #56626Webbie73Participant
Yankeesgirl, I am so glad you caught this early.
BUT this brings up one of my fears…the inconsistent management of stage 1 melanoma. Whenever I read about a similar case to mine and I see how they are being referred out to a surgical oncologist and a possible visit to Boston’s Dana Fabar center it causes my stomach to do flip flops. Was I mismanaged? Am I missing something? BTW I too am from Rhode Island.
When I had my WLE they did get clean margins but more melanoma was found. Pathology said .42 mm.The shaved biopsy did not get it all. Never went to an oncologist or to a cancer center. I had my WLE in January and then in April had another WLE for SSC. In June I has 3 atypical moles removed but none had further excision. In October I will be having a mole remover that the doctor has been watching. It is in my ear.
Should I be more aggressive? Not sure what I should be thinking.
Clark level 3
Radial growth present
Vertical growth present
No regressionSeptember 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm #56627cohanjaParticipant
Sounds like the surgical oncologist is to perform the WLE (and maybe some also will perform skin checks as well subsequently at follow ups). But an oncologist at a cancer center. . . they treat active disease and if you had your WLE with clean margins, about the only thing they can do is examine you, feel your lymph nodes, etc. . .but any doctor should be able to do that, not just an oncologist.September 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm #56628 Hi Catherine,
I have not have the full body photography performed yet. My current dermatologist suggested it after this third melanoma presented. I will certainly let you know how my appointments go next week, and thank you for your concern. I also think the Phillies are a fine organization, although my heart is with my Yankees!! Thanks again for offering this great forum!
Yes, I am seeing Dr. Thomas Miner next Tues at RI Hospital. Small world. I thank you for sharing this with me. Sounds like you and your friend are satisfied and confident in him. Very reassuring to hear this….thanks again and best wishes to you and your friend for good health!!
I can’t believe another Rhode Islander!! Thank you for sharing your story with me. Please know that my dermatologist said that he could perform my wide excision but opted to refer me out to the surgical oncologist for “another opinion”. Also, my visit next Friday to Dana Farber is at the urging on my primary care physician. She and I are both in agreement that another opinion from them is warranted. I am seeing a surgeon and dermatologist there next week. To answer your question about being more aggressive, perhaps you should get a second opinion on your path reports and treatments. If anything, I have learned that there is no harm in getting second opinions. I wish you all the best with your upcoming October visit!! It sounds like you are catching yours early as well!
Us RI folks should keep in touch…..are there any local support groups? If not, perhaps we can start one.September 22, 2012 at 11:05 pm #56629casey188Participant
I just wanted to clarify that the only reason I was referred to a surgical oncologist is that my former derm did not treat melanoma at all. She really is into the cosmetic side of things now and refers anything more than biopsies out. Of course I have a new derm who actually does wle’s. My friend still sees that same derm but since Dr. Miner still sees her she feels comfortable she is getting good care.September 23, 2012 at 11:43 pm #56630WorrywartParticipant I am so sorry you are going thru this! You caught them early, thank goodness! BUT, I am sure it’s mentally exhausting to have to have one after another. I’m thinking this is your last one for a long time, if not forever! **thinking positive for you!!** Maybe they all grew at the same time, during a period of immune suppression or chemical exposure??…but you have them off now, and you did so before they could harm you! Perhaps the oncologist can answer some of your questions regarding multiple primaries and put your mind at ease. I had in situ and was sent to an oncologist…he basically reassured me, but did say that he treats active disease, so there was no reason to see him again. If this is an oncologist that specializes in melanoma, then I think it would be good to go there if it’ll give you peace of mind.
Wishing you the best!September 24, 2012 at 12:32 am #56631cohanjaParticipant
I wasn’t aware, what kind of chemical exposure helps melanoma develop?September 24, 2012 at 1:51 am #56632 Hello Worrywart,
Thank you for your support! Yes, three since February (2 in-situ) and now this third (.4mm, superficial spreading melanoma) has been a very surreal experience to say the least. I am trying to remain positive about catching them early, but at the same time am concerned about the frequency at which they are occurring. I will know more by the end of this week after my two upcoming consults with melanoma specialists. Thank you again for your feedback and I wish you the best of health!!
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